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Hygroscopic ingredients

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8 replies to this topic

#1 Darienne

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 08:16 AM

Two days ago I forgot to take care of the sample turtle lollipops I had made for the regional Turtle Trauma Center. Left them out uncovered all night on a plate. Very bad. Very stupid. Fortunately, only 6 pops. Not the 200 they want.

So in the morning I had sticky turtles. Put them on a grid up in front of a fan. Boy, that sure didn't work. Of course not, idiote. Tried a dehydrator next. Where was my brain? Then into the fridge. Wait a second...you can't put hard candy into a fridge.

Last step was to immerse each pop into granulated sugar. They were by then so wet and sticky that each pop was immersed three times before the sugar stopped going transparent in just a few seconds.

OK. Into little plastic bags and into an air-tight container. Well, duh. Too bad you didn't do this in the first place. This morning, the final coat of white sugar is still mostly visible. It worked well enough.

I know what I was supposed to do. I know in my limited way how hygroscopic ingredients work.

What I don't know is how to fix a mistake. Is there a way?
Darienne


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#2 Kouign Aman

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 10:11 AM

Low slow electric oven? Commercial dessicant?
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#3 Lisa Shock

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 03:00 PM

Would it have been too difficult to remelt and remake them? I know that you'd lose the sticks, but, you might have saved time.

#4 Chris Hennes

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 03:15 PM

I'm not sure it's practical to recover them: the problem is that once the sugar has absorbed the water from the air, it doesn't want to give it back up. I don't have numbers to back this up, but I'm guessing that even if you get the humidity way down using a desiccant, the candy still won't give that water back up. Anyone have science on how strong those bonds are?

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#5 Darienne

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 03:38 PM

I should say that my intense interest is more theoretical than practical. These 6 lollipops don't matter at all. I just realize that I don't know if there is a way to fix them.

As for remelting and reforming...can this be done with hard candy? I know it can be done with caramel...have done it? But hard candy?

I suspect that Chris is correct. That's it's game over for this bunch. But hey! we tried. And the sugar did sort of rescue them. And if I had cared, I could have used green sugar. And they would have been acceptable.

My problem now remains that the pops must be bagged and put into containers before they leave me. The Turtle Trauma Centre had offered bagging and ribboning to relieve me of this task, but I can see that this isn't going to work out simply.
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#6 minas6907

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 06:01 PM

As for remelting and reforming...can this be done with hard candy? I know it can be done with caramel...have done it? But hard candy?


I've never done that for hard candy, but I remember reading in a pastry book for making pulled sugar, one of the options was to color the sugar and just let it set up. Then when you need it you just warm it under a lamp, being mindful to rotate it so it doesnt over heat and crystalize. I'm not sure how well remelting candy that is sweating would do, I think it would be tricky to determine if the water the sugar absorbed is completely gone. By now you could have just make a new batch of pops.

#7 Darienne

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 06:28 PM

I've never done that for hard candy, but I remember reading in a pastry book for making pulled sugar, one of the options was to color the sugar and just let it set up. Then when you need it you just warm it under a lamp, being mindful to rotate it so it doesnt over heat and crystalize. I'm not sure how well remelting candy that is sweating would do, I think it would be tricky to determine if the water the sugar absorbed is completely gone. By now you could have just make a new batch of pops.

Well then, I'll try it and see what happens. Tomorrow...or the next day. :hmmm: I remember something about the heat lamp idea. Lost in my personal archives for now.

As for making a new batch...that's the best idea. They cost so little to make and take so little time that it's not a problem. Thanks.
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#8 Lisa Shock

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 11:05 PM

I've only done it with isomalt, but, remelting should work. Even if it's crystallized, after all, you started out boiling crystal sugar and water in the first place. You get a spike in temperature once the moisture leaves the boiling sugar. The temperatures for cooking sugar are generally all about water content and inversion. Make sure to wash down the sides of the pot as usual.

The only issues with re-cooking involve how stable the food coloring is. Overcooked isomalt tends to yellow a bit giving a weird tinge to food coloring. And, some food colors aren't all that stable and may change when heated to hard crack stage -that's why they get added during cooldown.

#9 Darienne

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Posted 27 July 2011 - 05:32 AM

All good points, Lisa.

The turtles in this case are all to be different shades of green so that color mutation would not be a problem. However, as the color would go, thus goeth even more so the flavoring. However, in this case again, not really a problem. Kids are eating these in the end I expect, and they'd eat straight sugar pops with no flavoring and not care.

The other point which I hadn't mentioned is that these pops were done by the microwave procedure. Like falling off a log and very fast. I'll have to try the remelting in the microwave to see if it works.

Also the microwave recipe is written for a limited amount and produces only a limited number of pops. And these pops are larger than I originally thought...the legs and head make up the difference. So I have to either bump the quantities up considerably and see if some changes in the directions will work without too much trouble...or go back to the original and traditional on the stove recipe.

It makes for some interesting experimentation just as soon as I have some free moments.

Edited by Darienne, 27 July 2011 - 05:34 AM.

Darienne


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